2013 TrackChaser Report #13--Brownstown, IN
After a successful Friday night at Lasalle Speedway in Illinois, Mike and I headed to Indiana and the Brownstown Speedway on Saturday. The previous night we met up with Roger Ferrell at the track. For this show, the plan was to sit with our newest group member, Dave Garrison, who was attending Brownstown for his third straight week.
I had wanted to go to Brownstown Speedway for years, but always said I was going to wait until I could see wingless sprints there. They only have them once or twice a year, and the show always seemed to conflict with previous race plans elsewhere. It looked like this would finally be the year. Up until the last minute, Mike advocated for a different choice, preferring to stay in Illinois and see a track farther from home. But I knew once he was at Brownstown, he was going to enjoy it. And he certainly did!
We arrived at about 3:30 on the nicest day of spring so far. Admission was $25, and we put a blanket down and headed back to town for dinner. After some excellent pasta at Blondie's Pizza and Pub, we arrived back at the track for warmups. There was a good crowd on hand, but not great and Dave said they had more people the week before for the Late Models.
The race paid $7500 to win and that brought out a stellar field of 41 sprints including most of the top wingless racers in the state. There were also 19 UMP Modifieds and a disappointing 13 King of Indiana Series TQ Midgets.
Brownstown is a great little quarter mile, wide and flat. Warmups were outstanding with the track being wet and the drivers throwing the cars into the turns like the good old days.
Only the sprints time trialed and then they went right into the Modified heats. Dave found us down near turn one, and sat with us for the rest of the night. It was good having a chance to get to know him better, and we found out he once lived only ten miles from Mike. The sprint heats were great, as the track was still in good shape.
By feature time, the track had slicked over and there were now only two grooves, one very low and one very high up on the cushion. It was interesting to see the drivers move around and try to find a groove that would work for them. At the start of the race the bottom was faster, and Levi Jones led. In the middle of the race the top got more rubber down and became the fast way around. At this point it was Brady Short at the front. But the cushion moved up too high, and the bottom became fastest again. Fourteenth starting Chris Bell, in his first wingless start, stayed low all race and found a clear lane to the front near the end. Dave Darland followed him for second. Short and Bryan Clauson used the top for third and fifth.
The track said their goal was to have the sprint feature over between 9:00 and 9:30. They failed at that. A fuel stop and a flip in the feature had the sprints ending at 10:00, which was still not bad at all. I normally love the TQ Midgets, but the track is on the big side for them, and with only 13 it wasn't going to be much of a feature so we left before the last race of the night, the Modified feature having been run before the sprints.
My goal for what I call the "winter" season, between Thanksgiving and Easter, is to go to ten new tracks: 3 indoor, 3 ice, 3 regular outdoor tracks, and one extra from the three types. This year I made it again, with indoor new tracks (Baltimore, Tulsa, Battle Creek, and Birch Run), ice tracks (Valcourt, Lac William, Saint Theodore, and Black Lake), and regular outdoor tracks (Rockingham, Lasalle, and Brownstown).
Brownstown was my ninth new track for 2013. Last year at the end of March I had only been to six new tracks. It's looking good to reach my goal of 50 new tracks again this year. In fact, I think I might be able to do it without using any of the Michigan midweek fair dates. If that's the case, I can save those for next year and hopefully be able to get to 50 tracks again for another year.
No new tracks for me this coming weekend though. Pam's presenting at the PA Speech and Hearing Association conference in the state capital thru Saturday, and I'm heading out there Friday after work to spend the last part of the conference with her. I may be able to sneak in a race or two in the second half of the weekend, depending on how things work out.
Guy & Pam Smith 2013 Summary
2013 New Tracks--Guy 9 / Pam 4
2013 Events-- Guy 13 / Pam 5
2013 Total Tracks-- Guy 13 / Pam 5
2013 Additional Non TC Tracks--Guy 1 / Pam NA
Lifetime Total Tracks--Guy 1,486 / Pam 841
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